Rover ants Brachymyrmex patagonicus Mayr and patagonicus obscurior

Rover ants Brachymyrmex patagonicus Mayr and patagonicus obscurior, are tiny ants belonging to a species known as rover ants, about the size of the more common ghost ant in Miami but with a dark brown appearance and a thicker body. It is native to Argentina and Paraguay, that was introduced to the united states relatively recently. It was discovered in the Gulf States and in some urban areas of Arizona and Nevada and most recently California. It is considered nuisance pest of homes and businesses because the winged adults alates that fly and foraging workers will invade structures and establish nests in structures.

Distribution Rover ants

Brachymyrmex patagonicus Mayr is a native of Argentina and Paraguay, and it is an exotic invasive species introduced species to the United States in Louisiana in 1976. Since the introduction it has expanded rapidly and is well established in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi , Nevada, California and Arizona. It is a common ant northern Florida than in southern Florida.

Description of Brachymyrmex Species

Rover ants are a very small brown ant impossible to distinguish with the naked eye, it requires a microscope with at least 100x magnification. The body length for workers is between 1 to 2 mm in length , the queens is 3 mm in length and the males 1 mm in length.

As with both Brachymyrmex patagonicus Mayr & Brachymyrmex obscurior Forel and all the Brachymyrmex species the workers have a 9 segments antenna, Long hairs on the mesosoma, Comparatively large eyes, Sparseness of appressed hairs on the dorsal surface of the gaster.

Biology and Behavior of Rover Ants

Very few studies have been performed on the biology of Brachymyrmex species.

As the name implies Rover, the difficulty in control this ant is that in natural environments they do not make trail when foraging for food. It is unlikely to be able to establish supercolonies since there is a high level of inter-colony aggression. In the lab the establishment of persistent multiple queen colonies have been established

Rover Ant Habitats

There is an indications that its occurrences are higher in urban areas and other concentrations of human activity. Rover ant colonies are formed in multiple sites soil, at bases of trees, in leaf litter, wood piles, and rubbish heaps, mulch and man made structures, pavement adjacent to turf.

Personal Importance of Rover Ants

Brachymyrmex patagonicus is a nuisance pest and is not known to cause damage to structures or landscapes. It does not bite, sting or transmit disease.

Control of Rover Ants

Both Brachymyrmex species are relatively new pest problems to numerous homeowners and pest control professionals and including university and extension staff.

In structures sugar or glucose baits seen to be effective since they are attracted to glucose and nectar.

A Perimeter treatment with non repellent products in areas where they nest.